This Week for the Wildcats: The Arizona men’s tennis team (5-16) will return to Tucson this week for its final home match of the season. Arizona will still be looking for its first Pac-10 win as it attempts to upset in state rival No. 46 Arizona State (12-9). The match will take place on April 21 at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Complex, and is scheduled to begin at noon.
Last week: The Wildcats wrapped up a four-match road trip in the Northwest this past week, dropping their last two to the University of Oregon (10-12) and No. 31 Washington (15-6). On April 13, the Ducks downed Arizona 5-2. The Wildcats got off to a good start, winning two of the three doubles matches, and capturing a one-point advantage before heading into singles play. They then went up 2-0, before the Ducks fought back to even the score. Oregon’s Marcos Verdasco put them in the lead after upsetting No. 106 Claudio Christen 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 on court one. At the No. 2 spot, Arizona’s Bruno Alcala tried to keep the Wildcat’s hopes alive, reaching a third set tiebreaker against Alexander Cornelissen. Cronelissen won the tiebreaker 7-5, clinching the match for the Ducks. Two days later, Arizona fell 6-1 to the University of Washington. The Wildcat win came from Alcala, who defeated Daniel Chu 2-6, 7-6 (7), 1(10-7) at the No. 2 position.
Against Arizona State: Currently, the Wildcats hold a favorable 58-36 advantage over the Sun Devils. In their last meeting on March 24, Arizona State came out on top 6-1.
Scouting the Sun Devils: ASU got off to a strong start this spring, winning their first six matches. Since then, the Sun Devils have gone 6-9, including a 3-3 record in the Pac-10 with victories over No. 53 Stanford and No. 39 Cal-Berkeley. In its last match, Arizona State defeated Oregon 5-2. The Sun Devils are led by No. 80 Juan Rebaza, who has amassed a 23-11 singles record this season.
Wildcats in the Rankings: All ties in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings have been broken. As a result, the Wildcats no longer remain tied for No. 75. Claudio Christen is Arizona’s only ranked singles player at No. 10
Fall Action: Fall tournament results were sporadic for Arizona, with some players falling in the early rounds while others pulled out unexpected victories. The Wildcats ended their tournament schedule on a high note as Bruno Alcala and Claudio Christen teamed up to reach the semifinals of the ITA West Regional Championships. The team’s only sophomore, Tucson’s own Peter Zimmer, compiled the best record through the fall at 7-3. Christen pulled the biggest upset of the fall, defeating Baylor’s Michal Kokta, who was No. 23 in the nation at the time.
Pac-10 Elite: Once again the Pac-10 is the premier conference in the nation for men’s tennis. In the current rankings USC ranks the highest among Pac-10 teams at No. 9. Perennial powerhouse UCLA is not far behind at No. 10, with Washington next at No. 31. Cal-Berkeley is No. 39 and Arizona State is at No. 46, seven spots ahead of No. 53 Stanford. The Arizona Wildcats are currently one of the bubble teams on the outside. Oregon joins them as the only Pac-10 men’s tennis teams not ranked.
Next Week: The Arizona men’s tennis team will be in action at the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif. The event begins on Thursday, April 26, and runs through April 29.